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Parenting a child with Asperger's syndrome is never easy, and adding ADHD to the psychological mix makes life even more difficult. In this searingly honest account of bringing up her son, Luke, Jan Greenman challenges common perceptions of a "life with labels," and recalls her family's 18 year journey to the edge and back.
Writing frankly about the medical issues of Luke's early years, including the impact of MMR and Ritalin, Jan recalls how Luke's diagnoses came about, and how life at The Edge, their aptly named family home, changed as a result. She describes the causes and effects of the behaviors associated with Luke's conditions, and the impact they had on each family member, including his younger sister, Abbi. The only predictable thing about Luke is his unpredictability, and Jan also takes a light-hearted look at some of his more unusual habits and obsessions. The book includes tips and advice from Jan, Abbi, and Luke himself, and the final chapters go beyond Luke's early years to look at his life as a teenager, his solo trip to Dubai, and subsequent encounter with customs, his expulsion from school, and the inspirational head teacher who helped him to turn his life around.
Life at the Edge and Beyond is a must for anyone involved in bringing up a child with Asperger's syndrome, ADHD, or both. Parents will take from the family's successes, learn from their mistakes, and realize that, no matter how close to the edge they may feel, they are never alone.
208 pages. 2010